Kenneth Owen Merten (born May 4, 1945) is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Pan American Games medalist, and former world record-holder.
Merten won three medals in his breaststroke specialty at the Pan American Games. At the 1963 Pan American Games in São Paulo, Brazil, he won a silver medal for his runner-up finish in the 200-meter breaststroke. Four years later at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he received a pair of bronze medals for his third-place performances in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke.
Merten helped set a new world record of 3:57.2 in the 4x100-meter medley relay as a member of the winning U.S. relay team at the 1967 World University Games on August 31, 1967. The record was broken by an East German relay team a little over two months later. At the University Games, he also gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.
He is now retired after a 32-year career as a teacher, school administrator and coach. He actively competes in windsurfing within his age group, and is an active participant in Swim Across America, a non-profit organization that uses Olympic swimmers to raise funds for cancer research. He lives in Dallas, Texas.